A long history of archaeological research notwithstanding, the broad issues of the archaeological and historical geography of Haryana and Indian Panjab, i.e., the stretch between the Yamuna on the east and the Ravi on the west, have not been studied in depth. Based on their fieldwork in the region in 2007 and 2008, the authors of the present volume take a significant step in this direction. The problem of the Sarasvati River has also been put in a clear historiographical perspective. This is something which is missing from the voluminous and often confusing literature on the subject. The present volume also includes a gazetteer of the protohistoric and historic sites of Haryana in the form of several tables.
This also brings to close the first author’s study of the archaeological geography of the entire alluvial sweep from the Chattagram coast to the present Panjab border with Pakistan, which has been detailed in his Ancient Bangladesh (1992); Archaeological Geography of the Ganga Plain: The Lower and the Middle Ganga (2001); and Archaeological Geography of the Ganga Plain: The Upper Ganga (Oudh, Rohilkhand and the Doab) (2007).
Dilip K. Chakrabarti is Emeritus Professor of South Asian Archaeology, and Senior Fellow of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, Cambridge University.
Sukhdev Saini teaches in the Department of Ancient Indian History, Culture and Archaeology of Kurukshetra University, and has a wide experience of explorations and excavations on behalf of his university.
This volume is based on our fieldwork in Haryana in the summer of 2007 and in Panjab in the summer of 2008. Apart from the Cambridge University travel fund, the money for fieldwork came from the Society for South Asian Studies, London, in the case of Haryana, and from the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, Cambridge University, in the case of Panjab. The fieldwork would not have been possible without the warm-hearted and ready support of Dr. Sukhdev Saini of the Department of Ancient Indian History, Culture and Archaeology of Kurukshetra University and three of his students — Dr. Jagpal, Dr. Mohan Lal and Hardeep. The Head of the Department, Dr. Satdev, was invariably helpful. Professor Arun Kesarwani, whom I have had the privilege of knowing for a long time, was a source of great support.
I am also deeply thankful to Dr. R.N. Singh of the Department of Ancient Indian History, Culture and Archaeology of Banaras Hindu University, who kindly joined us in the field in the Hissar area of Haryana.
Despite being seriously hurt in a traffic accident, Dr. Saini took the responsibility of preparing all the relevant pottery designs and was helpful in various other ways academically. Mrs. Saini — Savina — was very kind and graciously hospitable whenever I turned up in the Kurukshetra University campus. On one occasion, my wife and daughter were also with me.
The list of my acknowledgement is incomplete without the mention of shri Lalit-Lalit-ji, to us who has driven our field van with a great enthusiasm to locate sites and enjoyed to be on the road as much as we did.
My former student and currently a senior officer of the archaeological survey of Indian Dr. D. V. Sharma offered us his unstinted support in the background.
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